Ben Jorgensen - vocals, guitar
PJ DeCicco - guitar
Anthony DiIonno - bass
Nash Breen - drums
Some info about Armor For Sleep for those who care: http://www.equalvision.com/evr/bands.php?band_id=2
So first off I want to say that I did not like AFS’s early stuff on Dream to Make Believe but I must say this band has come a long ways since then and when I first heard Car Underwater I was intrigued to listen to more. This album is a concept album which means that there is a story or common theme behind the songs on the album. In this case the songs talk of someone who has recently died and looking back at the people in their life as a ghost. The first song sets the mood of the whole album perfectly with spacie guitar riffs and lines like “believe the news, I’m gone for good, call off the search, no one will know that I’m down here" and “In a car underwater with time to kill looking back I forgot to tell you this". The next song “The Truth about Heaven" displays some of Ben’s best lyrics “Walked past my grave today in the dark tonight. Saw the stone and the note you left for me." musically this song is very standard but the lyrics make it shine a bit more.
I absolutely love the intro guitar line that starts off “Remember to Feel Real", a chunky rhythm line echoed by a screeching riff really shows some of the talent of the guitarist to write interesting guitar lines. At about the 1 min mark the song takes a turn into a quiet melodic sound that will be popping up again in the album. Awkward Last Words has another interesting musical introduction using small pauses to give the music a pop funk feel the only problem is they seem to revert back to the basic rhythm guitar as soon as Ben starts singing. Save for the intro this is an average track.
“Stay on the Ground" is a strong song and separates Armor for Sleep’s bassist from the average bassist in unique bass line in the verse placing the occasional note just where it’s needed to move the beat forward. Lyrics seem rather weak on this track but it’s not as noticeable because the song is quite varied in it’s music. Next up is a “A Quick Little Flight" which is a good attempt at a softer song with a keytar leading the way, some of the lyrics stand out such as, “If I try hard enough I pretend that I’m flying above some trees. And they’re smiling and waving at me." The next song “The More you Talk the Less I Hear" is a great song, interesting bass line in the verse with a powerful bridge emphasized by some well placed effects over these lyrics “It’s raining outside. There’s a storm front on my back, trying to keep, trying to keep away from you. a stranger’s up ahead, holding up a knife.".
The next song “Basement Ghost Singing" is my personal favorite on the album. The music and lyrics fit together so perfectly it’s eerie(no pun intended :D). The lyrics on this one seem to me to be some of the best on the album, “I hear your footsteps move the floorboard above my head. I hope you know that I’m down here just for you. I sang a song to you through the floor to reach you upstairs. I thought I heard you call out for more... I know that’s crazy". This song ties directly into a simi-acoustic “Walking At Night, Alone" which is another one of my favorites. A speedy, but not too much so, acoustic riff emphasized by a light and effective guitar lick in the background seems to move this album along smoothly while retaining a obvious difference between tracks.
“I Have Been Right All Along" seems to be a good song but I just can’t really get into, it might be because it sounds too much like the first few. “The End of A Fraud" is a marvelous ending, starts off as a seemly normal song. Lyrics grip you like “They never heard one sound out of my mouth" followed shortly by “Now I think I believe. That I was never alive in the first place". Then the song launches into frantic effected shouting and chunky chords while a female singer comes in while Ben sings “Don’t believe that the weather was perfect the day that you died". The song crashes shortly after Ben stops singing in a climax of distortion and effects and slowly fades out. One of the best and most experimental songs on the album, a beautiful ending to a pretty good album.
Overall I really liked this album, generally concept albums are not pulled off very well but this one seems to be an exception. It’s not perfect and it won’t blow you away but I think it’s well worth whatever you can find it for at the store.